THE SCENT OF MEMORY

 

 

In creating the services and atmosphere at robin's nest I wanted to make the sensory experience a significant element. Our sense of smell is the most powerful, detailed and instantaneous of our five senses. It can be next to impossible to describe a scent to someone else. We smell constantly and with every single breath. It affects more than 75% of what we taste. Women tend to have a better sense of smell than men. Every human carries his or her own distinct scent like a fingerprint. The sense of smell can weaken with age and it may be a signal of future illness such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have shown that 1 trillion different smells can be detected. The sense of smell is 150 thousand times more sensitive than your eyes and 2.8 million times more sensitive than your ears.

 

The most uniquely intense aspect to our sense of smell is its direct sentimental pathway to our imprinted memories. It can transport us back to a very specific time and place in our lives. We have little to no control over how the smell affects our subconscious. Deep emotional responses related to those memories are triggered before we ever have a chance to edit them.

 

The scents of summer are absolutely my favorite. Within my first few steps on a beach vacation, the salty air I breathe, transports me back to the excitement of going on vacation for the very first time in Ft. Lauderdale. Getting to play in the sand, feeling the warm breezes coming off the ocean and walking at nighttime to get mint chocolate chip ice cream with my mom, dad and sisters. The scent of freshly cut grass reminds me of the promised reward of earning enough money to buy an ice cream sandwich from the gloriously sounding ice cream truck that you could hear coming from miles away and I hoped upon hope that it wasn't going to be the night that my street was skipped. After the devouring of the beloved ice cream sandwich was a game of catchers and then hopefully enough time had been wasted and it was dark enough to catch lightening bugs. The scent of April Fresh Downy reminds me of freshly laundered sheets that Mom had hung on the line to dry where I would run underneath so that when I stood up, it would be like a long veil on my head. Then at bedtime climbing into freshness and falling asleep to the night sounds of summer, the warm air coming in the open window and knowing on the other side of morning was a brand new day of adventure just waiting to be had. The earthy aroma of rain on a hot summer day takes me back to the windfall of being allowed, given it wasn't storming, to stay in the pool. Swimming under water and looking up at the raindrops hitting the water and just thinking that it was the best most serene place in the world. The sulfuric smell of fireworks on the 4th of July, and the fun that came with the next best holiday to me after Christmas. A day at my aunt and uncles, swimming, playing by the creek which usually led to the inevitable dreaded tick finding its way onto me, sparklers and the prospect that it might just be the year I'm finally old enough to join the league of cousins of firecracker lighters. The coco-nutty smell from Tropicana oil that only everyone but me was allowed to use. It was the scent of summer break as a teenager and the awesome lazy feeling of three months of staying up late, sleeping in and hanging out with friends in between. Of wanting nothing more than to be a grown up because you were naive enough to believe the pieces of the puzzle of life would eventually fit and the picture would be solved, never to be broken apart again.

 

The sense of smell is truly a unique gift. Not only is it like hitting replay on the memories of our life, aromas can calm us and make us feel happy. I can't imagine not being to smell chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, rain when it first begins to fall, lilacs in the spring or my favorite perfume that reminds me of delicate flowers.